Time to promote rural women economically, socially, politically: Scholars

Wednesday 08 March 2017 3 months ago 110   Tando Jam   Print

Ms. Qamar Wahid speaking in seminar held at SAU

Report  Mustansar Ali Jamali : TANDO JAM: Leading women and scholars associated with education, anthropology, research and social sector advised girl students to take lead in motivation of rural women to adopt entrepreneurship, follow skills learning and explore markets of their own products of handicrafts. "This is the time to join hands to promote rural women economically, socially and politically so they may live with dignity and enjoy freedom". It was the general message of speakers on the occasion of International Women Day, celebrated at Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam on Wednesday. The speakers emphasized the need that rural women have to learn about the trade models and explore markets in urban centers, which is only way out to empower women economically. The celebrations of National Women Day followed by awareness walk under the Gender Equity Program jointly organized by Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam and Aurat Foundation in collaboration with USAID at the university premises. The event attracted a large number of students, both male and female, belonging to various departments of the university to express solidarity with the global women on this important day. Dr. Qamar Wahid, a renowned scholar and educationist, who taught in Sindh University Jamshoro, in her speech, said only crying, protesting and complaining will not help women to get their rights, guaranteed by the constitution. "You have to move ahead with bravery and full of confidence, as your destination is waiting". She asked girl students: "some of you may become educationists, researchers or enjoy higher positions by working with different fields and sectors in future to come. But you have responsibility as being conscious citizen to look behind as several women work in the agriculture fields in Sindh province without taking their proper wages and being exploited economically". "You should behave as change maker in the society and in fact these platforms will help you achieve target," she said this while directly talking to participating students. She encouraged girls, studying in universities and professional institutes to take lead and achieve the set goals of life. It is blessing in the society that a large number of girls have got opportunities to have been enrolled in universities. But after their education they must realize that a large number of village girls do not have access to get even primary education. That is the question that we may come to compete with the world in this era, when everybody comes with talent and merit. Prof Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director University Advancement and Financial Assistance, sharing introductory remarks about gender equity program (GEP) initiative and women empowerment, linking with the day, saying it is need of hour to resist hostility against women in the society. He gave examples in which certain criminal elements deprived elderly women of their golden earrings in different areas and damaged the rich values in peaceful Sindh set by our elders long ago. These incidents are not favorable to show the picture of present Sindh, globally. Aftab Memon, Member Sindhi Association of North America (SANA), hailing from USA said women themselves should do dare to ask their rights and initiate fighting for the cause. He said the government and nobody other from society can give right to women. This is the issue the entire world is talking about. But Sindh is standing at quite backward region, where the women have to take rights with bravery, adopting skills and self confidence. Zulfiqar Halepoto asked students participating in the event to follow the learning about the important days. He said Sindhi society is backward as compared to civilized societies. We should connect ourselves with the word and show that we can organize and celebrate these important days with great enthusiasm. He said obviously we claim to be civilized but in true spirit we have to look in to the social fabric in Sindh and realize how the women live and enjoy their rights. He asked the participating young cadre to be bold for change following the theme of this globally important day. He said "when we claim to support women empowerment and decision making role in the society and policy making, let us encourage our own women first to set examples". Ms. Mumtaz Bhatti, teaching in Department of Islamic and Pakistan Studies in the Agriculture University said it requires to give honor to women who have contributed a lot in economic generation. She said 70 percent women are associated with agriculture, who yet to get their rights. She said village women face physical and mental torture, despite the fact they work in fields whole day, take care of children and manage livestock. But in return they do not get incentives, guaranteed the constitution. Ms Tehmina Wagan, chairperson Economic Department in SAU asked girls students that they are lucky to have got opportunities and getting education in universities. Because, majority of rural women live in miserable conditions, and do not have role in decision making at every level. Ms Hakimzadi in her speech said she belongs to rural areas and know the issues of women. It is not only honour killing; women face many problems because they are unaware about their rights. She said literacy rate should be increased within rural girls so they may become change maker like those have got opportunities and enjoying positions. For this, she asked them to go and encourage your sisters and daughters to join education and awareness rising in neighborhoods. After this, all participants join the awareness raising walk within premises to deliver message for women in the society. 02